State Legislative Survey and Contextual Data, 1995: [United States] (ICPSR 3021)

Published: Dec 8, 2000 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
John M. Carey; Richard G. Niemi; Lynda W. Powell

Version V1

This survey of state legislators focused on attitudes toward term limits and what effects term limits might have. The survey was conducted just as term limits were about to be initiated in close to 20 states. Respondents were asked how many terms they had served, whether they supported the idea of term limits, and if they had taken a position on term limits during their campaigns. They were also asked about the relative influence of party leaders and staff, among others, in determining legislative outcomes and how this influence had changed recently. With regard to the job of legislator, respondents were queried regarding how many bills and amendments they had authored, how much time they spent on various duties and tasks, and if they specialized in single policy areas. Also elicited was campaign information regarding headquarters and staff, as well as information on opposition, vote percentages, and campaign expenditures. Additional questions regarding the respondent's political future were asked as well. Former state legislators also answered questions regarding which other offices they held, and whether they were appointed or elected to those positions. In addition, they were asked why they departed from the legislature, if they were likely to run for office again, what the political background of the person who held the seat after them was, and, if they chose not to run for re-election, the reason for that decision. Demographic information, including gender, year of birth, ethnicity, occupation outside of politics, income level, and religious affiliation was also collected. Contextual information was added to the file by the principal investigators, and includes data on state population, the date when term limits were adopted in the state, length of term, timing of elections, number of seats in the legislature, legislative expenditures, and legislator compensation.

Carey, John M., Niemi, Richard G., and Powell, Lynda W. State Legislative Survey and Contextual Data, 1995: [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000-12-08.

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National Science Foundation (SBR-9422375)

These data should not be used to identify or characterize individual state legislators. The data are to be used for aggregate statistical analysis only. All respondents were promised confidentiality, and it is expected that all users will respect this guarantee. In order to assure that respondents cannot be identified with certainty, small number of responses were randomized -- not enough to affect aggregate analysis, but enough to prevent linking up of individual legislators with survey responses.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Seventy-seven percent of the members of lower chambers of state legislatures. The number of legislators sampled in each chamber was proportional to the state population, with a minimum of 70 or the size of the chamber if that was less than 70. In addition, all presiding officers and majority and minority leaders were sampled. The response rate was 47 percent.

All state legislators in all 50 states in spring 1995, as well as former legislators who served in 1993 or 1994.

mailback questionnaires, THE BOOK OF THE STATES, Vol. 30, and the National Council of State Legislatures

survey data, with contextual data about legislatures



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Carey, John M., Richard G. Niemi, and Lynda W. Powell. State Legislative Survey and Contextual Data, 1995: [United States]. ICPSR03021-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-02-03.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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